Nashville-based e-commerce company FashionAble on Wednesday hosted a dinner at Gracias Madre with its ambassador Minka Kelly in support of its Equal Pay Day initiative. April 4 marks the day in 2017 that women must work until to match men’s wages for 2016. FashionAble, the women’s jewelry and accessories company founded in 2010 by Barrett Ward to generate jobs for women, unveiled a limited-edition T-shirt and leather pouch made in Peru and Mexico, respectively, adorned with the word “feminist” with the dollar sign symbol replacing the “s” to emphasize the message.
The items are available on livefashionable.com and in the brand’s Nashville flagship. Ward explained that he started the company while he was living in Ethiopia and met women coming out of the sex trade in search of jobs. He began employing them to create scarves and other accessories.
Kelly, whose mother worked in the sex trade to support her family, was candid about why she’s made it her mission to help give women better opportunities to earn a living. “I lost my own mother and I know that women will do anything to support their children and families. They often have to make hard choices and I want to help give them other options to support themselves.” Kelly met Ward when she was also doing relief work in Ethiopia in 2009 and has since helped him spread the word by hosting events.
She also paid it forward, inviting her actress friends Mandy Moore and D’Arcy Carden and stylist Johnny Wujek. “Know that whatever you guys do, in using our products and spreading the word, means everything,” said Ward.
The company next month will launch shoes, starting with a leather mule, loafer, platform sandal and flat sandal, all made in Peru by women. In August it will launch denim made in Mexico and in the fall, there are plans for wage transparency initiatives to emphasize closing the gender wage gap.